partlycloudy
Tuesday November 21st, 2017 10:52PM

US stocks waver as retailers rise and tech companies slip

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are hardly budging Wednesday as banks and technology companies give back some of their gains from earlier in the week while retailers and energy companies trade higher. Target said it will hire far more workers for the holiday season this year, which has investors hoping for a strong holiday shopping period.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index held steady at 2,496 as of 3:20 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 22 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,141. The Nasdaq composite remained at 6,453. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 3 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,427.

With stocks at record highs, investors looked for bargains. Energy and telecommunications companies, which have fallen this year, moved higher and some of the best-performing industries of the year, including technology and health care companies, took losses.

FED HEAD: One reason stocks may be holding steady: the Federal Reserve will meet next week, and along with the usual questions about interest rates and the Fed's balance sheet, investors are wondering about the central bank's leadership. Fed Chair Janet Yellen's four-year term will end in February and it's not clear if President Donald Trump will re-appoint her or replace her.

"There are factions of the Fed, as well as potential Fed chair candidates, that are less focused on market reactions and will be more focused on the need to raise rates from their current levels to offset a future recession," said Eric Freedman, chief investment officer for U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

Freedman said Yellen has made a priority of informing Wall Street about her plans and taking investor reactions into account. A different Fed chair might not do that, which could lead to a bumpier ride for stocks.

ON SALE? Department store chain Nordstrom climbed after CNBC reported that the Nordstrom family is close to a deal to take the company private. The stock has risen over the last three months following talk that descendants of co-founder John Nordstrom, including company executives, might buy the 70 percent of the company they don't already own. The stock gained $2.59 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $47.64.

IF THEY CAN MAKE IT THERE: Centene said it will expand into New York through a $3.75 billion acquisition of Fidelis Care. Its stock jumped $7.40, or 8.1 percent, to $98.28. Centene focuses most of its business on Medicaid programs, but it has expanded into several states over the past year through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges.

JILTED: Hard drive maker Western Digital slumped $3.33, or 3.8 percent, to $85.45 after its partner Toshiba said it will sell its computer memory business to a consortium led by Bain Capital Private Equity. Western Digital wants to buy that business and has filed a lawsuit to stop Toshiba from selling it to anyone else. Toshiba is trying to offset losses by its Westinghouse Electric nuclear business, which filed for bankruptcy protection in March.

STAY ON TARGET: Target said it plans to hire 100,000 workers for the holidays, some 30,000 more than it hired a year ago. Its stock climbed $1.51, or 2.6 percent, to $59.40. Electronics seller Best Buy rose $1.69, or 3 percent, to $58.48 and clothing retailer Gap gained 76 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $28.37. Video game seller GameStop added 48 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $20.01 and Amazon.com rose $11.21, or 1.1 percent, to $993.79.

APPLE: Apple fell $1.83, or 1.1 percent, to $159.03 Investors appeared worried about the $999 price tag of the tenth-anniversary iPhone X as well as its later launch date in early November. That could affect Apple's revenue in the next few quarters. Investors seemed to like some of Apple's plans Tuesday, including new features that are being added to the Apple Watch, but the stock took a small loss for the day.

MORE PAIN: Credit bureau Equifax hit an 18-month low in heavy trading. The company disclosed Thursday that vital data about 143 million Americans was compromised in a cyberattack. It faces criticism from Congress, state governments and consumers. The stock dropped another $13.97, or 12.1 percent, to $101.99. It traded above $142 last week before news of the attack broke.

ENERGY: Energy prices after the government reported a smaller-than-expected increased in crude oil stockpiles and a bigger drop in gasoline inventories. Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.07, or 2.2 percent, to $49.30 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 89 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $55.16 a barrel in London.

Heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.77 a gallon and wholesale gasoline lost 1 cent to $1.65 a gallon. Natural gas climbed 6 cents to $3.06 per 1,000 cubic feet.

METALS: Gold lost $4.70 to $1,328 an ounce. Silver declined 2 cents to $17.87 an ounce. Copper fell 6 cents to $2.98 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.66 yen from 110.11 yen. The euro fell to $1.1873 from $1.1970.

BONDS: Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.19 percent from 2.17 percent.

OVERSEAS: The German DAX and CAC 40 in France both rose 0.2 percent. London's FTSE 100 index declined 0.1 percent. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.3 percent and the Kospi in South Korea shed 0.2 percent.

___

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jays

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
6 die at nursing home as Irma's aftermath brings new hazards
Five patients at a Hollywood nursing home have died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath as people confront a multitude of new hazards in the storm's wake, including oppressive heat, brush-clearing accidents, house fires and poisonous fumes from generators
11:58AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Police arrest CEO of world's largest meatpacker
Police have arrested the CEO of the world's largest meatpacker on suspicion of manipulating financial markets
11:58AM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: 6th person dies at Florida nursing home
City officials say a sixth patient from a Florida nursing home has died in aftermath of Hurricane Irma
11:56AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Ryan sees White House operations as 'improving'
House Speaker Paul Ryan says White House operations are "improving," but he's not saying whether he thinks that's because of recent West Wing personnel changes
11:35AM ( 36 minutes ago )
The Latest: Ryan reflects on Trump's 'bipartisan moment'
House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump wanted a "bipartisan moment" when he reached a deal with Democratic leaders on the debt ceiling and hurricane relief
11:26AM ( 46 minutes ago )
The Latest: Ryan says Trump made right call on immigrants
House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump took the right approach to phasing out a program that helped young immigrants living in the United States who were brought into the country as children
11:21AM ( 50 minutes ago )
AP Business
Clinton's book publisher questions reviews from Amazon users
The publisher of Hillary Clinton's new book "What Happened" is questioning Amazon reviews posted within a day of the book's release
10:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
Top Dems say Flynn left Mideast trip off security clearance
Two Democratic lawmakers release documents showing former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn failed to report a June 2015 trip to the Middle East on his security clearance questionnaire
7:20AM ( 4 hours ago )
Miners protest threatened mine suspension in Greece
Greek miners are protesting in Athens after their Canada-based company says the government is delaying permits for pending licenses
7:00AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Global markets mixed after Wall Street gains
Global stock markets are mostly lower after Wall Street rose to new highs on encouraging jobs data as worries about North Korea and twin hurricane disasters eased
5:26AM ( 6 hours ago )
Asian stocks mostly higher after Wall Street record highs
Asian stock markets are mostly higher after U.S. shares rose to new highs on encouraging jobs data
1:04AM ( 11 hours ago )
Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes
The Republican Senate leader and members of the Budget Committee are scrambling to come up with a budget deal to clear the way for the first tax overhaul in three decades
10:15PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
6 die at nursing home as Irma's aftermath brings new hazards
Five patients at a Hollywood nursing home have died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath as people confront a multitude of new hazards in the storm's wake, including oppressive heat, brush-clearing accidents, house fires and poisonous fumes from generators
11:58AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Police arrest CEO of world's largest meatpacker
Police have arrested the CEO of the world's largest meatpacker on suspicion of manipulating financial markets
11:58AM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: 6th person dies at Florida nursing home
City officials say a sixth patient from a Florida nursing home has died in aftermath of Hurricane Irma
11:56AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Target stocks up on staff, raising holiday hiring 40 percent
Target is hiring about 100,000 workers for the holiday season, up from the 70,000 it hired a year ago
11:42AM ( 29 minutes ago )
ESPN distances itself from anchor Jemele Hill's Trump tweets
ESPN distanced itself from anchor Jemele Hill's tweets one day after she called President Trump "a white supremacist" and "a bigot."
11:40AM ( 31 minutes ago )